Illiteracy rate among adults up by 6.3pc, Bunge told

DODOMA: Tanzania has made impressive strides in increasing the percentage of the adult population who can read and write.

The current statistics show that the percentage has increased to 6.3 per cent within a period of ten years.

These encouraging records in the country’s literacy rate were unveiled yesterday in the National Assembly by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology.

Deputy Minister for Education, Omar Kipanga, told the august House that, according to a report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) based on the 2022 national census, Tanzania has managed to raise its literacy rate to 83 per cent, up from 78.1 per cent in 2012.

He revealed these figures in response to a question raised by Special Seats MP Taska Mbogo (CCM).

In her question, MP Mbogo demanded to know what plans the government has in place to ensure that the majority of citizens are equipped with the necessary knowledge of reading and writing.

In his response, the deputy minister said that the government continues to implement various strategies to improve the literacy rate among the public. These strategies include removing obstacles to education, such as implementing free education schemes.

He added that the plans also include reaching out to marginalized citizens who lack opportunities for formal education. This includes the introduction of adult education programs at various colleges and centers, as well as a special program to reintegrate students who have dropped out of school for various reasons.

To support these strategies, the government is also working to improve library services at regional and district levels, as well as in schools. This initiative has already seen significant improvements in online library services across the country.

The minister assured the MPs that the government will continue to take measures to improve training infrastructure at the Folk Development Institute. This is with the specific goal of allowing more adults to access and benefit from key services.

Fatuma Toufiq, Special Seats MP (CCM), in her supplementary question, asked what plans the government has in place to identify citizens aged 35 and older who do not have the opportunity to learn how to read and write.

She also wanted to know if the government has any plans to install well-equipped libraries in primary schools to encourage reading habits among young pupils.

In response to these questions, Deputy Minister Kipanga said that the government has implemented several strategies to identify citizens who do not know how to read and write in different areas. This is in order to build their capacity in crucial sectors.

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